To answer that question, I must back up a long way, back to 1971 when I was a young wife with two little ones and another on the way, my husband a Bible college student. I imagine you all could relate to some part of that situation, up to your ears in little people and not much money. That about sums up my life back then, but then as now, I was searching for a mentor, for someone to show me the way.
That’s when I met Edith Schaeffer through the pages of her book Hidden Art, now published as The Hidden Art of Homemaking. One of the challenges I took away from that book went like this: “a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively.” She went on to talk about how it should not take a lot of money to do this, and she wrote about how she did it simply, like filling a glass with water and wild flowers and centering it on the table. In seconds, her environment had been elevated significantly.
Over the years, I followed her advice making the place where we slept, whether for a few weeks or years, in places that ranged from student housing, hotels on the road, and life in the Africa bush into our home. And I never spent much money.
We have been in temporary quarters for the last couple of weeks, and I discovered one way of making someone else’s home into my nest. I bought a couple of inexpensive red placemats and two brand spanking new dishcloths for napkins, red with white windowpanes. It cost me a total of $3.00.
But when I put those on the table, and set it for breakfast, I felt at home. A pretty table, read colorful, tells me I am home. So, for our new tiny home, I am packing three sets of two matching and coordinating place mats and napkins.
I will center my white thrift store Corelle dishes (and that’s another story) on each placemat, and I will feel at home.
Oh, and I will be packing my Welcome mat and bathroom mat, little touches that say, “Come on into my tiny house. Be welcomed, and feel at home…as I do.”